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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Gift Basket Deadline

Posted November 20, 2009 9:23 a.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2009 10:02 a.m. EST

Today is the deadline to sign up for our overflowing gift basket. Pledge to stay within two pounds of your normal weight over the holidays. All you have to do is post on this blog that you accept the challenge and you will be entered. In early January we will use the honor system to find out how many of the entrants met their goal and those will be eligible for the final drawing.

The gifts include four weeks of personal training from Tara Wind at Lifetime Fitness. The winner will also receive all of my CDs, my book Blue Ridge Reunion and many other treats you will love. 

Tara, a registered dietitian offers the following tips to avoid explosive weight gain over Thanksgiving:

Cut the Fat!

Broil or Bake the turkey instead of frying. Eat light meat and don't have the skin.

Watch the gravy - it does not need to go on every food item.

Have pie without ice cream.

Eliminate sausage from stuffing. Use half the butter

Don't put butter on the table.

Serve lower fat appetizers - fruit tray, crackers, salsa, hummus, vegetables - instead of a cheese tray. Hard boiled eggs with hummus instead of of the traditional filling is wonderful.

Chicken broth instead of butter

Sweet potatoes instead of casserole

Watch the Servings!

Fill 1/4 of your plate with turkey, 1/4 with stuffing and the rest with colorful side dishes such as green beans, fruit salad, mixed greens.

Pick your favorite dessert and have only that one!

Have a 'hand' size or smaller serving of turkey.

Don't go back for a second plate.

If you have to eat mashed potatoes, stuffing and candied yams only have 1/2 cup of each :

Allocate your calories!

Do you really want to eat store bought cookies? Or would you rather spend those calories on a dessert someone baked homemade?

You are always going to have choices over the holidays - some bad, some good, some better than others. If all else fails minimize damage.

Turkey Trot or Boot Camp!

Many local gyms have special classes Thanksgiving day morning. There are also many turkey trot runs from 3-8 miles.

Also maintain your exercise routine over the holidays.

Beware of hidden calories!

1/2 cup mixed nuts 440 calories

6 ounces turkey 350 - 450 calories

1/2 cup cranberry sauce 190 calories

1/2 cup gravy 150 calories

1 cup stuffing 400 calories

1 piece pecan pie 480 calories

1 piece pumpkin pie 300 calories

1 cup sweet potatoes with marshmellows 300 calories

It's Okay to Say NO!

Don't be guilted in to eating more pieces of pie than can fit into your stomach!

You can always take food to go and eat it over the next week.

Don't Hang Out in the kitchen!

You will eat too much! Mingle elsewhere where there are other activities.